Tuesday, October 26, 2010


So, when I turned 35 I was really sad because I was not sure if I would still be considered a young adult clergy in the United Methodist Church. This article shares that "in 1926, 20% of United Methodist elders were under the age of 35. By 2005, only 4.69% of elders were under the age of 35." I was ordained an elder in 2006. I was not sure if under 35 included 35 but I figured that either way, my getting older was hurting our United Methodist young adult clergy statistics! Young adult clergy definitely does not include those who are 36. I can now remember the good ol' days when I was considered young adult clergy...

36 does not seem that bad. I am now solidly in my mid 30s... I have lots of stuff, a nice house, a nice car, an iphone 4 (baby!). I have amazing relationships, with my husband, with my two beautiful kids, with my family, with my friends. I am so happy that I am able to work part-time as a pastor so that I can enjoy these precious years when my children are so young. I get to pick up my daughter from first grade every day! I am so blessed. I am in good health, next weekend I will be walking 60 miles with my mom for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.

And yet, there is so much more to look forward to. I feel like I have not got it all figured out yet. I say "yes" to too many things and to too many people. I can definitely improve in the area of self-care! I want to get more massages and relax more. I want to be less busy and worry less. I want to go on more trips and show our kids the world (or at least, you know, more of Texas). I want to feel less guilt, about everything. I want to walk more confidently, feel more sure of myself. I want to feel like I fit into my shoes more (and I am not quite sure what that means).

I look forward to feeling more comfortable in my own skin. These past years I have worked really hard at becoming more healthy, and as I struggle with eating healthy and exercising more, may I continue to keep my health in the forefront. May I continue to be thankful to God for all of the ways that I experience God's presence and joy in my life. May I continue to thank God every morning for the incredible gift that I have been given, simply by waking up each day!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So, once there was this art program...

So, once there was this art program, called Reflections. Last year when Madeleine was in kindergarten, art workshops were advertised in the PTA newsletter and I signed up to go with Madeleine and help. Since Madeleine goes to art only once a week in school (and she loves it), I wanted to encourage her love of art in any way possible. So, I went to the first workshop, and the next and the next. It was such fun to watch children create art to a theme. The theme last year was Beauty is...

So, this year I am one of the three parents in charge of the program. The theme this year is Together We Can.... We had three workshops after school, and at the first workshops 53 K, 1st and 2nd graders attended. 53 kids! The last two workshops we only had 30 kids at each workshop. Only 30 kids! HA!

So, now the three parents are mounting all of the work on posterboard and next Thursday the art will be judged. I know, it sounds like an art contest, but it is an art program. They told us that at the District Training, so it must be true.

Visual Arts are the bulk of our entries at Madeleine's school, but there can also be music, dance, photography, film and literature. Last year Moss Haven had 140 total entries, and this year we hope to have more than that. After the art is judged, the top 20% go on to district, and the top 20% from there go on to state. Last year we had one beautiful picture from a 6th grader go on to state. Then, 2 entries from each state go on to nationals.

Madeleine wanted a camera for her birthday this summer, so I finally downloaded the pictures from her camera. We picked 4 pictures to submit for Reflections, here are some highlights from her camera.

The PTA Reflections website is so fun, you can see all of the national winners from last year.

Madeleine took a picture of the TV showing the 4th of July show in Washington, D.C.

One of many, many, many pictures of Madeleine's willing subject, her brother.

This is Launa's Little Library. At the top of these stairs is the kindest woman in Lake Highlands.

A self portrait, one of many, but this one is mostly in focus!

Love this one! It is Madeleine's arm. Her skin, she says...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Children's Choir

The Children's Choir sang in church yesterday, here is my photo description of the occasion.

This is at rehearsal, everyone is doing great!

But then Everett starts zoning...

And does not like his stole during worship and the actual singing (he is on the right taking off his stole).

And then Everett disappears because he is laying on the ground right it front of me.

Ahh... children :)

The choir did great, they sounded wonderful!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Playing in the fountain

There is a new Whole Foods by our house and right next to this fancy steak place is these awesome fountains. So, a couple of times this summer we went to get frozen yogurt (across from the fancy steak place) and played in the fountains. Once the kids even wore bathing suits! We went to use my last groupon at the frozen yogurt place on Friday and I thought that it would be fun for the kids to have one last fountain playtime before it got to be too cold. So, they got drenched and had a blast! These were taken on my iphone, that thing is amazing!

this is what Madeleine and Everett did when I said to smile...

This was the response when I requested a photo where they smiled...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How much is too much?

So, Madeleine is 6 years old and in first grade. I thought that when signing my children up for activities one would be enough, but then this happened:

today - October 6, 2010
3 pm - pick up Madeleine from school and take her to Daisy Girl Scouts meeting

4:30 pm - pick up Madeleine from Daisy Girl Scouts and take her home where she eats an early dinner, practices her piano songs, and gets into her soccer uniform

5:25 pm - leave for piano lesson

6:00 pm - finish piano lesson and race to soccer field where the game started at 6 pm

Madeleine missed the first quarter of the game, but I am still sort of in shock as to how this happened. All of the things that she does are good and I do not know how to stop. We signed up for soccer last spring and that was her one thing. I wasn't sure that she would play this year, but all of the teams that were good had been together for over a year and played each fall and each spring. This enabled them to become really good at the sport and they were really good friends as well. So, we couldn't stop soccer, and besides Madeleine really liked it! So, we signed up to play again this fall.

Then, the opportunity to be a part of Daisy Girl Scouts came up. They meet on the first Wednesday of the month, so the time commitment is not too great, but again I anticipate Madeleine being in girl scouts for the foreseeable future.

I had called the neighborhood piano teacher this August and we were put on the waiting list. I was anticipating her starting in 2nd grade, but then an opening became available and Madeleine has gone for 30 minutes each week for a month now and she is really learning. I am seriously amazed. So, I hope that she keeps taking piano lessons.

There are things that Madeleine wants to do but I have said that we do not have time right now. Good things like gymnastics, but she is already involved in three things! And I want to get Everett started in swimming lessons... Seriously, how do parents figure this all out? How do you decide how many activities are too many? How do you do this many activities with multiple children? What if Everett was on a soccer team too and in cub scouts and taking piano lessons? AHHH!

I attended the funeral Monday of one of my neighborhood book club ladies. Roberta was 90! and lived an amazing life, and as we in the congregation sang "In the Garden" I was struck by the refrain. Here is the entire song:

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

And He walks with me and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

I'd stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.

I am preaching this Sunday for Children's Sunday at Oak Lawn United Methodist Church and my sermon title is, "Whatever happened to tarrying?"

How much is too much? And how do you prevent it from becoming too much?

Monday, October 4, 2010

My sweet boy

My sweet boy, Everett Sumpter Smith, turns 3 tomorrow! He is such a joy and I am in disbelief that he is going to be three. I can remember when he was born like it was yesterday, and I can not imagine our family without him. Here are his school pictures that were taken a few weeks ago.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pumpkin Painting

I took Everett to the Annual Lake Highlands Area Early Childhood PTA pumpkin painting this morning and
1. he enjoyed painting his pumpkin for about 3 minutes
2. then he wanted to play on the playground
3. and by play on the playground I mean pretend a big stick was a gun and make shooting noises.

Ahh... boys :)

he has mad slide skills, if you can see he is holding onto a cookie while sliding!

he wanted to take the stick home, but I held firm and said no. I know, I'm so mean. :)